Former TikTok Executive Alleges Discrimination and Harassment in Lawsuit
Former TikTok executive Katie Puris has filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging discrimination based on age and gender during her three-year tenure. Puris, who worked in marketing starting in 2019, claimed she faced unequal treatment as a woman, retaliation for voicing concerns, and ultimately forced termination in fall 2022.
The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District Court of New York, also accuses TikTok of inadequate response to her report of sexual harassment at a work event.
TikTok allegedly terminated Puris citing “performance reasons,” despite her complaints about discriminatory treatment. This lawsuit follows previous complaints, including racial discrimination allegations from Black employees. TikTok has asserted strong policies against discrimination and harassment.
Puris, who held senior roles at Facebook and Google, alleges disparate treatment after meeting with a senior executive at parent company ByteDance. She claimed leaders favored younger, less experienced employees, perceiving them as more innovative. Puris faced pressure to manage an overwhelming workload, impacting her team’s mental health.
She asserts retaliation, including poor performance reviews and a reduction of her team size, after raising concerns.
During a work trip, Puris reported being sexually harassed by a business partner’s employee. TikTok’s response allegedly took weeks, further exacerbating her distress. The lawsuit raises concerns about TikTok’s governance under CEO Shou Chew, particularly regarding connections to ByteDance.
Puris seeks unspecified financial damages, underscoring broader issues of discrimination and harassment in the workplace, especially within tech companies.